About This Blog
Summaries, news and resources relating to eDiscovery in Delaware and beyond.
Many non-Delaware lawyers will, at some point in their careers, find themselves practicing in a Delaware court after being admitted pro hac vice. For those that do, it is important to note that the Delaware courts take e-discovery seriously and have a sophisticated understanding of it. The body of e-discovery law in Delaware continues to grow, tackling issues as broad as document collection and as narrow as records review and privilege logging. This article serves as a primer on conducting e-discovery in the Delaware courts. More ›
CorpCast Episode 11: Better Know a Judge: Vice Chancellor Joseph R. Slights, III of the Delaware Court of Chancery
On this episode of CorpCast, we continue our “Better Know a Judge” series with an interview of the newest member of the Delaware Court of Chancery, Joseph R. Slights, III. Joe discusses why he took a pay cut while his children are in college, his background, some advice for young lawyers, as well as what he’s looking forward to and dreading when he gets on the bench.
Love what you hear? Go to our podcast tab for archived episodes and be sure to follow @DECorpCast for the latest updates. If you have questions or comments, you can reach us at CorpCast@morrisjames.com. Thank you for listening! More ›
On today’s episode of CorpCast, we are joined by our colleagues Ian McCauley and Laura Readinger. Ian and Laura’s practice focuses on eDiscovery, and this episode covers Delaware developments on the subject over the past 16 months.
We cover global issues such as the role of Delaware counsel in discovery, and the Court of Chancery’s growing concern regarding the conduct of counsel throughout discovery. We also take a look at defensible document collection, preservation of text messages, and production of personal email. Finally, we discuss very narrow topics that the Court has tackled, including production of metadata and document review. More ›
Joseph R. Slights, III and Ian D. McCauley spoke on panels at the Delaware State Bar Association Women and the Law Section's Retreat, which was held on March 4th and 5th, 2016.
Ian D. McCauley spoke on the first panel of the retreat that dealt with various technology issues impacting lawyers. This panel discussed various issues including the ethical considerations of social media, the discovery of electronic material, and the use of technology in the courtroom.
Joseph R. Slights, III spoke on a panel which tackled common issues that a practitioner confronts, such as building a network to benefit or advance one’s career, and understanding how to manage clients effectively. This panel also provided insight into practical office management.
Morris James attorneys and staff continued the firm’s longstanding support for the Delaware High School Mock Trial Competition with twelve attorneys serving as judges or coaches at the annual competition held at the New Castle County Courthouse on February 26-27, 2016. Jason C. Jowers, a partner in the firm’s Corporate and Commercial Litigation Group, completed his seventh year as Chair of the competition and received the Pete Jones Award, named after Morris James partner Pete Jones, given to an individual who has demonstrated sustained commitment to the goals and values of the mock trial program. Eric Hacker, an associate in the firm’s Georgetown office, coached Sussex Central, the first team from Sussex County to advance to the finals of the competition. In addition to Jowers and Hacker, the Morris James attorneys who participated as coaches or judges included partners Kevin Healy, Pete Jones, Lewis Lazarus, Dennis Schrader, Joe Slights, and David Soldo, and associates Megan Adams, Nick Krawitz, Beth Powers, and Laura Readinger. Also, Morris James administrative assistant Margie Touchton served as the Judge Volunteer Coordinator.
Delaware Supreme Court Justice Collins J. Seitz, Jr., the presiding judge of the championship round, commented that the future of the practice of law in Delaware is bright based on the skill demonstrated by the finalists. David Williams, the firm’s managing partner, expressed his gratitude to the attorneys and staff who gave so generously of their time to aid the next generation of Delaware lawyers, noting that “this type of dedication exemplifies the type of community service for which the firm is proud.”
Morris James is pleased to announce that Laura G. Readinger was admitted to the Delaware Bar on March 2, 2016. Ms. Readinger is an associate in Morris James’ Business Litigation group focusing on dealing with the challenges associated with electronic discovery. She provides effective and efficient project management solutions to clients in what is a complex and continually changing area of litigation. Prior to joining Morris James, Laura gained experience in family law, immigration law and litigation.
Ms. Readinger received her Juris Doctor in 2007 from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and is a 2004 graduate of Cornell University. She is also admitted to practice law in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York and is currently serving as the Vice President of the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania and as a board member of the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania Legal Education Fund.
Chuck Kunz, co-chair of Morris James' Data Privacy and Information Governance Group, was quoted in a Delaware Law Weekly article discussing the need to educate attorneys on how to protect data and bolster cybersecurity practices. Chuck said his firm got aggressive in 2014, as lawmakers were drafting and debating bills. The firm started advising clients on their fiduciary duties to prevent breaches and train employees to respond, including how to encrypt data and retain and destroy documents.
Richard Herrmann, a member of Morris James' Intellectual Property Practice, was also quoted discussing the recent effort to expand continuing legal education on the topic, benefiting clients and attorneys alike.
The article is titled "Delaware Bar Leaders Stressing Need for Cybersecurity Efforts." Read the full article here.
In Amalgamated Bank v. Yahoo!, Inc., C.A. No. 10774-VCL (Del. Ch. Feb. 2, 2016), Plaintiff Amalgamated Bank’s Section 220 books and records demand sought, among other things, the emails of certain Yahoo officers and directors. Yahoo objected to the request as overly broad, but the Court found differently. Continuing the trend from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Ind. Elec. Workers Pension Trust Fund IBEW, 95 A.3d 1264, 1271 (Del. 2014), which first permitted access beyond board materials, the Court ordered inspection of certain Yahoo director and officer documents and communications. In addition, the Court found that the directors’ and officers’ personal email accounts were subject to inspection if they were used to conduct business. This development signals to corporate officers and directors’ that personal emails may be discoverable in a 220 Action if the emails are essential to fulfilling a plaintiff’s proper purpose. More ›
LegalTech New York 2016 took place in early February. Several Morris James attorneys and members of IT attended the event. As usual, the event attracted some of the best legal technology minds in the country.
The trends that were observed at the 2015 conference have continued. This year’s discussions not only focused on understanding the disparate areas of law that technology affects, but also emphasized that these various areas are all interrelated and cannot be viewed in vacuum. Information governance efforts directly impacts scope of discovery and data security. Standard discovery protocols affect retention strategy and implicate security concerns. Privacy issues impact both scope of discovery and frame information governance protocols.
Other key topics discussed at the conference included: More ›
Welcome back to CorpCast! In this 2015 Year in Review, we discuss several important cases from the past year, starting with the tidal wave of antagonism in the Court of Chancery towards disclosure-only settlements ending with In re Trulia, Inc. Stockholder Litigation. We then move to discuss several instances of “financial advisors behaving badly,” with a look at In re TIBCO Software Inc. Stockholders Litigation and RBC Capital Markets, LLC v. Jervis. We’ll also take a look at opinions dealing with conflicted transactions, revisiting Corwin v. KKR Financial Holdings LLC and Delaware County Employees Retirement Fund v. Sanchez, as well as discussing In re Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc., Shareholder Litigation and In re Dole Food Co., Inc. Stockholder Litigation. Finally, we’ll look to some contract actions, including 1 Oak Private Equity Venture Capital Limited v. Twitter, Inc. and SIGA Technologies, Inc. v. PharmAthene, Inc., and touch on the invalidation of company bylaws in In re Vaalco Energy Inc. Consolidated Stockholder Litigation. More ›
Morris James Partner Joseph R. Slights, III Nominated to Become Next Vice Chancellor of the Delaware Court of Chancery
Morris James LLP is pleased to announce that partner Joseph R. Slights, III has been nominated by Governor Jack Markell to become a Vice Chancellor of the Delaware Court of Chancery. The judicial nomination was announced on Monday, February 8th.
“I am honored and grateful to have been nominated by Governor Markell to serve on the nation’s premier court for the resolution of business disputes – the Delaware Court of Chancery,” Slights stated. “If I am fortunate enough to be confirmed by the Senate, I look forward to serving the citizens and the State of Delaware as Vice Chancellor.” More ›
This is the seventh in a series of posts summarizing the 7 most important eDiscovery cases in Delaware in 2014.
Mechel Bluestone v. James C. Justice Cos., C.A. No. 9218-VCL(Del. Ch. Dec. 12, 2014).
My colleague, previously summarized Mechel Bluestone in an article written on December 23, 2014 which discussed the need for senior Delaware counsel to guide and be closely involved in the preparation of privilege logs and to promptly respond to deficiency letters. The article can be read in its entirety here: http://www.morrisjames.com/newsroom-articles-357.html.
To recap, here are the seven most important eDiscovery cases in Delaware in 2014 (in chronological order) along with their key takeaways: More ›
Ian D. McCauley was appointed as an Associate Member of the Delaware Supreme Court Commission on Law & Technology. The Commission was created to develop and publish guidelines and best practices regarding the use of technology and the practice of law. According to former Supreme Court Justice Henry duPont Ridgely, Liaison Justice to the new Arm of Court, “The Court expects the Commission to become a valuable resource not only to all Delaware judges and lawyers for issues related to technology and ethics in the practice of law, but also to serve as a model for other states who are interested in assisting their judges and lawyers maintain their professional competence in technology.” Click here to see the full members list and read more about the Commission.
This is the sixth in a series of posts summarizing the 7 most important eDiscovery cases in Delaware in 2014.
Gloria James v. National Financial LLC, and Loan Till Payday LLC, C.A. No. 8931–VCL, December 5, 2014.
Ian McCauley previously summarized James v. National Financial in our blog post of December 29, 2014 which highlighted Delaware Counsel's discovery obligations as well as the sanctions that may be imposed for not complying with those obligations. The original post can be read in its entirety here: http://www.morrisjames.com/blogs-Delaware-eDiscovery-Report,court-of-chancery-clarifies-delaware-counsels-role-in-discovery.
The three key points made by Vice Chancellor Laster in his opinion were: More ›
This is the fifth in a series of posts summarizing the 7 most important eDiscovery cases in Delaware in 2014.
Kan-Di-Ki, LLC (d/b/a Diagnostic Laboratories) v. Robert Suer, C.A. No. 7937–VCP, Oral Argument on Various Outstanding Motions, Pre-Trial Conference and Rulings of the Court on Motion for Summary Judgment, September 24, 2014.
While various motions were addressed at this hearing before Vice Chancellor Parsons, the most relevant to eDiscovery was the Plaintiff’s Motion for Sanctions for suppression or spoliation of evidence, including the deletion of relevant emails and the loss of unpreserved text messages which the Plaintiff argued pointed to a “pattern of suppression” on the part of the Defendant. Plaintiff requested that the Court draw broad adverse inferences against the Defendant and afford his testimony no weight. Additionally, the Plaintiff requested fees and costs associated with the motion. More ›